Cosplay Update #1: Creating Jyn

Well, here we are, first cosplay update!  I spent the last four days with my mom working on the costume for Jyn Erso from Rogue One, to the point that I almost wish I had just “moved home” for my long weekend since I was back and forth almost every day.  Thankfully I only live like 15 minutes from my parents’ house.  🙂

I kind of had to chuckle when my mom apologized on Sunday night for not getting as far on the outfit as we hoped after we worked on it for most of three of the four days (and went cosplay shopping on the 4th).  I am so happy with how far we got and told her so.  The pants are done, the shirt just needs the sleeves shortened, and the vest is waiting until we get another part that I ordered this weekend.  I even got 3 of the 4 last pieces of the blaster sanded!  So, yeah, I’m happy with the progress.

Wednesday night I dyed some strapping for the vest.

I also inadvertently dyed the end of my wooden spoon brown.   At least it was a spoon designated for non-edible use.

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I dried the strapping on my tub on a piece of wax paper so it didn’t stain.  I wish I had taken a “before” picture.  The long piece was a natural cotton color and the short piece was a dark tan with two thin red stripes.  Obviously, they dyed really well.

To make the vest we pretty much followed this step-by-step write through by Jessica of Restill Cosplay on Facebook.  There were no measurements or anything, so we based the basic pattern off a vest I already own and had to create our own pattern from there.

This is the front of the vest after most of the doohickies are attached.  The top horizontal patches and the wide rectangular ones on the sides are what I dyed dark brown.  The pockets were an especially large pain to figure out, with the extra gusset on the side.  But they turned out pretty awesome.  The front panels are lined with one layer of cotton batting, and the back has two layers of that plus a layer of 1/4 inch foam, which will look pretty cool after it’s tie quilted.

Pretty, bright red lining.

Of course I had to try it on at various points in construction, and of course I had to take pictures.  🙂  And the pic on the right is my wonderful, creative, sewing wizard mother.

So that was Thursday.  Friday we took off sewing to go shopping and pick up a few things we needed, including of course more cosplay items and fabric.  Because, of course!

Saturday we got the pants for the costume done.  I had found a pair of black pants at a local thrift shop with really wide legs which we cut off and pintucked part of the front.  We made the legs taper smaller at the end, and added the strapping and a black band and a buckle around the knee where the pants were cut off.

And just a quick note on that, let this be a lesson to you to always check your stash of miscellaneous items before you go out shopping.

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We needed a strange type of buckle for the strapping on the leg and ended up buying two packages of buckles, which are the four items at the bottom of the above picture.  Upon getting them home and opening them up, we came to the conclusion that they would, in fact, not work for what we needed.  I raided mom’s little drawer of miscellaneous buckles and such, and found the two on top, which were pretty much EXACTLY what we needed and which the store didn’t have.  So we traded.  Mom kept the new stuff and we used her random buckles for the pants.  So yeah, always check your stash before you spend money.  😉

Sunday afternoon we were both really tired, but we managed to get the shirt collar done anyway.  I had bought a couple gray shirts a few months ago and we used one for fabric to remodel the other one to add the flappy collar on Jyn’s shirt.  Neither of us thought it would be as difficult to figure out as it was, but we still managed to accomplish it.

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So here is the final result of the weekend of work.  The details on the pants are pretty hard to see in this pic, but eventually I’ll get better shots.  Still work to do, but I’m really pleased with how much farther along it is.

Btw, I should clarify, pretty much any time I’m saying “we” in this post, I’m really meaning “my mom”.  She did ALL of the sewing on this (except the top stitching and hand stitching on the vest fronts).  I pretty much gave my opinion, offered a few ideas, watched, fetched things, and was a human mannequin.  I’m so blessed that I have a mom who loves to sew (maybe not so much after this weekend?!) and who is willing to put up with my geeky craziness and help me with stuff like this.

So that’s update one!  We’re working again on Wednesday this week to finish the shirt and hopefully sew the shirt for Merlin.  I ran to a thrift store after work today to look for some brown pants and possibly a brown jacket for Merlin, but I struck out on both, so I’ll have to do some more searching.

I just can’t!

Ok guys, here’s the deal.  I’ve got less than two months before I’m leaving for Dragon Con.  I am planning on debuting 3 brand new cosplays at the con, and my apartment looks like a craft store blew up in it.  But, none of it is card-related.  Every bit of my free time right now is getting devoted to working on my costumes so that I don’t enter into full-blown panic mode a week before the con, still trying to put the finishing touches on my cosplays.  🙂

So, I’m putting the cards on hold for a while, and instead will be giving you (hopefully) weekly updates on my costumes instead.  If you’re just here for the cards, I’m sorry, but there’s going to be a break.  You can ignore my posts for the next several weeks, or you can enjoy this peek into other areas of my life.

I am going to be wearing a costume every day at the con this year.   The first time I went two years ago, I only wore a costume on Saturday and Sunday.  But this year, all four days, baby!  It just makes going to cons even more fun if you’re all dressed up as some beloved character.  I am recycling my Amy Pond costume and wearing it again as the gal going with me this year is going one day as Rose Tyler.  So that’ll be fun.  We’re also planning on going one day as gender-swapped Merlin and Arthur from BBC’s Merlin (I’ll be Merlin).  I haven’t even started on that costume yet.  But, I’m thinking that one won’t be too hard to put together.

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The other two costumes are definitely in progress mode right now.  The one that’s almost done is a humanized version of Applejack from My Little Pony.

I’m pretty much done with the costume, except for trying out the different white face paint I got and adding some little tweaks.  I am planning on making some little apple gifts to give to any little kids that are especially excited about my outfit, but I haven’t started on those yet.

The last costume, which is definitely my most detailed (and expensive) cosplay to date is Jyn Erso from Rogue One.  Anyone who knows me IRL knows that I fell in absolute love with that movie last December, and almost immediately after seeing it I decided I wanted to cosplay as Jyn.

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The only completed part of her outfit I have right now is her gloves, which I bought on etsy.  I bought a kyber crystal necklace on etsy as well, but I want to rework the cord a bit.  My mom and I spent a good part of last Monday working on making her vest, and all that actually got sewn was putting the topstitching on the front.

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But, we got the pattern figured out and puzzled over lots of details, so hopefully we’ll make a lot of progress this week.

I’ve also been spending an exorbitant amount of time scrunched over a table with sandpaper and plastic.  I bought a few 3D printed kits of items for her outfit, including her weapons, and have been working on sanding them all down.

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I think all that’s left is sanding the final large pieces of her blaster, then I can actually start painting them.  Two of the blaster pieces warped a bit, though, so I’m going to try to un-warp them tonight before I start standing those.

And yeah, that’s the status of my cosplays for the moment.  Next update will hopefully have things a lot farther along.  I took a couple days off later this week to work on them, so here’s hoping for a productive long weekend!

Craft time!

Wow, isn’t amazing how life happens and gets in the way of other things?  I hadn’t intended to take last week off from my blog, but with VBS and everything going on with that, I just didn’t have time to make a card.  And this week, I have to admit I didn’t make a card either (it’s still the weekend, so I’m not counting myself as late with this post. 🙂 ).  My brain has just been focused on other things and my craft juices were flowing towards something other than cards:

dragon eggs!

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Aren’t they so fun?!

I saw a link to a tutorial on facebook a couple weeks ago and thought it looked like a super cute project to do.  Essentially, you paint push pins with nail polish and stick them on a foam egg, spiraling up from the bottom.  Simple, fun, and endless color options!

I started with the green egg, which I picked up at Joann’s in a set of 2, but after having to use more than 2 packages of pins just for that one egg, I found a package of several sizes, all of which are smaller than the original, at Michael’s.

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I’m holding it for size reference.  See, it’s really big!

I still have several eggs to do, and a small supply of pins already painted pink.  But I’ve bought out three of the local Walmarts of their white push pins already.  Haven’t made it to the one that’s farthest away yet.

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This one I painted with holographic nail polish so it has that gorgeous rainbow effect.  I was working on it at night in my dark apartment and it looked pretty blah, but the next day when I held it in the sunshine I was really impressed.

So yeah, that’s what’s been keeping me busy lately, besides the rest of life in general.  I really am planning on having a card for you this Saturday.  In the meantime, have a great week!

Card #96: May the Force Be with You

The year 2016 ended on a bitter note for geeks world-wide as we had to say “good-bye” to our beloved space princess and general Carrie Fisher.  I will admit that her death hit me pretty hard.  I had recently had my love of Star Wars rekindled by Rogue One and was looking forward to binging through all the episodes after Christmas.  When I first heard that she had been hospitalized, I wasn’t too worried.  “People survive heart attacks all the time, she’ll be fine.” I thought to myself.  The next day when I saw that she had passed away, I was shocked.  And I cried myself to sleep, mourning the loss of one I didn’t personally know, but who meant so much to so many.

I always say that Lord of the Rings is my first geeky love.  The movies came out when I was in high school, and those films and books really opened me up to embracing my nerdiness.  But Star Wars was really my first introduction to the world of sci-fi and fantasy.  My parents had copies of the shows recorded on VHS tapes from when they had aired on television.  I can still picture those tapes and sitting around together watching the movies.  I didn’t enjoy sitting through “The Empire Strikes Back” because it was too sad, but “Return of the Jedi” always made me happy.  I was too young to really realize that Star Wars was “geeky” as it was just something I grew up with.  And Princess Leia was a strong, self-reliant, snarky, female bad-ass character that little girls could look up to and emulate.

So in remembrance of Carrie and my love of the franchise, I created a set of Star Wars cards on the Cricut this week.

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I tried to come up with a fitting quote to go with each symbol and had the Cricut write the words and cut out the symbols on the white cardstock.

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The Rebellion, Jedi Order, Galactic Empire, and Rogue symbols were simple clip art images I found online and imported into the Cricut design space.  After the white was cut out, it was just a simple matter of gluing it down on the colored cards.  They are pretty simple, but I like the impact of the cut-out color.

And as I raise a glass of blue space milk in a toast to Carrie, all I can say is, “thank you.”

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